Overview After 6 seasons Downton Abbey has come to an end. However, with it coming to the end on a Christmas Special, so comes the question if there will be at least one final somber moment before the cast bids us farewell. A move many a series has done on both sides of the Atlantic….


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Overview

After 6 seasons Downton Abbey has come to an end. However, with it coming to the end on a Christmas Special, so comes the question if there will be at least one final somber moment before the cast bids us farewell. A move many a series has done on both sides of the Atlantic.

Characters & Story (with Commentary)

To spoil things early on, damn near everything ends on a happy note. Edith, after having men leave her through death or abandonment, has finally married a man who loves her and accepts her daughter Marigold. Then, when it comes to Henry, though it seemed the death of his friend could lead him into depression, all we get from his story is good news. For whether it is his retirement from racing, and opening up a garage with Tom, or Mary being pregnant with his child, it seems the living daughters of the Grantham family both have their happiness set.

It is the same for Lord Grantham as well, I should add. Not directly mind you, for he doesn’t get achieve anything really, but he does get to witness his mother officially pass the torch to his wife, and see his wife flourish as president of the hospital. In such a way that it truly shows that Mary’s work ethic may have more so come from her mother than papa. Oh, and before I forget, Lord Merton and cousin Isobel finally become engaged, which confused the hell out of me since I thought they were already married, but the fact I can even remember so many characters’ lives is perhaps a true testament to how compelling the writing, and acting, is on the show.

Working our way downstairs, perhaps the one sole bit of sadness comes from Mr. Carson. It seems his age has caught up with him and now he is unable to pour or hold anything without getting the shakes. A problem which leads him to want to retire with dignity. An option no one really likes but with his retirement does come a chance for Mr. Barrow to take his position. An idea no one would dream of early on in the series, but it seems with Mr. Barrow being humbled, especially as he gets the opportunity to work in another house, it becomes settled. Mr. Carson will still be on retainer for coordinating big events, but the day to day activities will be in Barrow’s hands.

Leading to Mr. Moseley who, finally and officially, is to become a teacher. Unfortunately, though, his relationship with Ms. Baxter remains the same. Almost like how Mr. Carson and Ms. Hughes was, but I’d argue Mr. Moseley is much more in love with Ms. Baxter than there is a shared love between Hughes and Carson. Bringing us to the topic of Daisy. As Ms. Patmore notes, the girl has a serious issue with only liking boys when they seemingly are paying her no mind. Something clearly seen as Andy goes from hot to cold and we see Daisy adjust her attitude accordingly. Making for, once more, another instance of when we don’t get full on clarity on whether a possible couple may be together, or just remain close. Same thing goes for Ms. Patmore by the way. For despite past instances of her and Mr. Mason seeming flirty, there remains no clear tell if they maybe one of many hearing wedding bells soon. I should note however; Tom may end up being next in line. If only because it seems him and Edith’s editor Laura get quite chummy during Edith’s wedding, and Laura catches the bouquet. Not setting anything in stone mind you, for Tom often finds himself in female company, but one could hope right?

Thus leaving only Spratt. Someone who, once again, has to deal with Denker using him as some sort of amusement to makeup for her pitiful life. Yet, despite thinking her exposing him to the Dowager would get him canned, it seems to only make her like him more. Now, as for why she would get Spratt canned, considering how much fun she has with him, who knows. Either way, you have to wonder if the Dowager’s need for routine is really enough of a reason to justify keeping Denker around.

Highlights

Though we saw the end to Mr. Carson’s career, it was nice that most of the episode was filled with happy endings. Mary is pregnant, Anna had her baby (forgot about that one), Mr. Barrow has found a permanent, stable, position in Downton, Lady Crawley has found fulfilling work, and the list goes on and on.

I was so glad to see Spratt get one up on Denker. I mean, the only thing that could have made me happier is if she was the Christmas death. For the way Sue Johnston plays her is like if you took the title and redeemable qualities of Dowager Violet away, and just left her a sarcastic and conniving character. One you can’t help but love to hate, and even though I would have liked her off, it is only because the series is ending. Otherwise, I would love to see her and Spratt continue to try to one up each other.

In many ways, the series has been just as much about change as it has been about trying to preserve a time period enough for us, as a viewer, to bear witness. And, in many ways, this finally was all about how far the characters have come. Mr. Carson was forced to allow himself to vulnerable, to be helped, and set his pride aside; Mr. Barrow came to a point where he stopped trying to be conniving, and just help as more than simply a butler, but as part of this small community; and I could go on and on, for everyone has something, especially the likes of Mary who has become a bit more flexible to life and empathetic, but then this would far surpass my usual goal of a 1000 some odd words.

On The Fence

A part of me wished that we were given something like that black card you usually see at the end of movies. Something to hint at where everyone ends up, or who they end up with. Granted, the series ends within years of the Great Depression, which was something creator Julian Fellowes seemingly wanted to avoid, but there is a slight feeling that you are left on an unintentional cliff hanger. One which surely a movie, or another special, could clear up, but I do think no matter how many movies, specials, or even books, were made, it would never truly be enough.

Things To Note

Rose appears, with her husband, but not with her baby.

There isn’t much done with Aunt Rosamund, which is slightly unfortunate but largely expected.

Though fierce when it comes to getting Isobel to help Lord Merton out of the clutches of his children, for the most part Dowager Violet is rather tame in the episode without any memorable line or quip.


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